Imagine you’re Neo from the Matrix and Morpheus offers you two choices: You take the blue pill and acquire 5 customers, or you take the red pill and retain an existing customer. Which one would you choose?
If you chose the red pill, congratulations. You just saved money because new customer acquisition costs 7x more than retaining an existing one. Also, you saved your business because 65% of it comes from existing customers.
Customer retention is the new growth hack for businesses and you’re leaving money on the table if you aren’t leveraging it. In this article, we delve into some of the best customer retention tactics.
1. Create positive “return” experiences
Businesses know to care about their customers’ returns experience to avoid bad customer experiences — but on the flip side — do brands consider providing a positive return experience to improve customer retention and loyalty?
84% of customers in a survey said a return experience with a company was important — and that’s a lot of people you can turn into loyal customers. Does this mean you need to go out of your way to earn a loyal customer?
No. The bottom line is simply training your staff to be empathetic to customer needs — even if they’re dealing with disgruntled customers — will greatly improve the return experience and strengthen customer relationships.
If it’s your fault, respond promptly, apologize, and be proactive in rectifying the issue. And if it’s your customer’s fault, still respond promptly and be empathetic. Here are 9 refund templates you can use for both scenarios.
2. Provide 24/7 customer support
Many companies want to offer 24/7 support to their customers, but shy away because they think it’s too costly and time-consuming to hire and train customer support staff.
But not being responsive around your customer’s clock can also cost revenue and low CSAT scores. In fact, a study from Comm 100 states 71% of people aged between 16 and 24 expect quick responses from brands.
The easiest solution to offer the support your customers want while being wallet-friendly usually includes a hybrid customer support model. Brands who work with Chatdesk usually start with after-hours or weekend support and scale up as the business grows.
That’s how Thinx, an activewear brand offering women hygienic period-absorbing underwear, did it. Many customers were asking them product questions as comments or DMs on social, but their social support team realized they didn’t have enough time to address everything.
They realized that cost them sales. So they started working with us to provide 24/7 support to their customers and that quickly cut down their response time and scaled their revenue by 15%.
Unlike other customer support providers that require annual contracts or outsource abroad, Chatdesk offers month-to-month contracts starting at $99/month and the majority of our Experts are based in the U.S.
3. Make employees your greatest cheerleaders
If your employees aren’t engaged in their jobs, they’ll lack the intrinsic motivation to serve customers and retention will take a hit. Many American companies are already losing $500 billion dollars because of unengaged employees, so if your customer retention rates have fallen, look at your employee engagement metrics as well.
To recover your employee engagement rates, start with making your employees feel heard and seen. Recognize the work your team does, appreciate them, and give them a small incentive, so they’re motivated to perform better.
Also, use employee engagement surveys to give employees a voice – and then you can quickly address any pain points stated in their feedback. Above all, prioritize employee wellness as healthier employees are more dedicated to their jobs and outperform those whose mental and physical health are swept to the sidelines.
Taking these small steps will make your employees more productive and transform them into brand ambassadors.
For example, Southwest Airlines is known for their hospitality and customer satisfaction because they’ve created a culture of engaged employees who are passionate about keeping flyers happy.
Here’s an instance where they went out of their way to make sure their passenger was comfortable throughout the flight:
A Southwest Airline crew member named Garrick noticed a 9-year-old kid having severe flying anxiety. So, he sat with the child for more than 30 minutes, finding ways to distract her.
After they landed, he announced on the intercom his little friend Gaby overcame the fear of flying and asked everyone to applaud her courage. Gaby’s mother shared her experience on social media and expressed her gratitude to Southwest.
The morale: If you’re looking to retain customers, start with employee engagement first.
4. Save your abandoned carts
Cart abandonment is one of the most serious problems the eCommerce industry faces. On average, 7 out of 10 people abandon their carts. The usual culprits are: high “surprise” checkout costs like shipping, lengthy checkouts, and websites crashing.
Those larger fixes aside — having a strategy for cart abandonment is worth it.
- Cart abandonment emails can improve conversion rates by 18%
- Each cart abandonment email or follow-up can generate an additional $8.21 in revenue
- The Average Order Value (AOV) of recovered carts was 14.2% higher
(Source: Smart Mail)
For a jumpstart, check out these 10 awesome templates for abandoned cart email examples.
5. Don’t skimp on the after-sales experience
If you want high customer retention rates, invest in creating an incredible after-sales experience. This generates customer engagement and increases profits — thanks to improved customer satisfaction and word-of-mouth marketing.
Listening to customer feedback and offering great customer support is a great place to start, especially for customers making their first purchase. But if you want to go beyond providing just a “good” experience, send your customers thank you notes, coupons, or branded goodies in addition to the support.
For instance, here’s how EPIC bars responded when a customer’s bar had gone bad:
They sent a replacement along with six free bars and a thank you note to their customer.
If it’s not possible to send free products to your customers, send them branded goodies they’ll love.
Swag Up, a promotional products supplier in New Jersey, helps you with this. They supply Swag Packs which are preset packs containing high-quality swag like t-shirts, bottles, and journals branded with your company assets.
There’s also an option that allows you to offer customers a personalized experience. You can create custom packs that’ll wow them, build a positive brand image, and improve your conversions, so check them out.